When it comes to making the home safer for an elderly family member who lives independently, many people focus on the bathroom and bedroom. And, while it's true that the risk of tripping and falling can be high in these spaces, you shouldn't fail to think about other areas of the house if you're concerned about your loved one's mobility. One part of the home that can occasionally get overlooked is the kitchen. Your family member likely spends a lot of time in this part of the house, and some attention to detail on your behalf can make the risk of falling much less. You should also strongly consider hiring a home health aide to visit as much as is needed; he or she can even provide guidance about making the house safer. Here are some methods to use in the kitchen.

Rearrange The Cupboards

When your loved one struggles with mobility but wishes to continue to live at home, it may be time to give the kitchen cupboard contents a thorough rearranging. Items on the upper shelves can be difficult to reach, and this may cause your loved one to slip and fall after reaching high enough to get off balance or using a chair or stepladder. Assess whatever is stored on the upper shelves and relocate items that are used frequently to the lower shelves. Similarly, if there are items on the lower shelves that your family member seldom uses, these things can find a new home on the upper shelves.

Put Mats Down

The floor of the kitchen commonly has a slippery surface, whether it's made of vinyl, tile, or even hardwood. When someone is elderly, he or she may fail to notice a puddle on the floor that could have occurred from a glass spilling or even a splash from the sink. Stepping on this puddle could easily result in a fall, so you'll want to evaluate methods of making the floor safer. A simple solution is to put mats with a no-slip surface down on the kitchen floor. Alternatively, a large area rug — provided that the edges are taped down to avoid being a tripping hazard — can also be useful.

Upgrade The Lighting

If the kitchen in your loved one's home is shadowy, your family member risks tripping. The simplest way to lessen this risk is to upgrade the lighting. Sometimes, the installation of higher-output bulbs, provided that the fixtures can support them, is the simplest way to improve the lighting. In other cases, changing the fixture to a brighter one will make the risk of falling less. If you're concerned about falls in other parts of the home, make sure to consult your home health aide.